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Hudston Family Topics

© David Hallam - 2005-2016


The Hudston Families of Beeston -


John Hudston and his wife Rebecca (née Smedley) were married at Aston-on-Trent, Derbyshire on 12th June 1778. This parish then included the hamlet of Great Wilne where it appears they lived and their family were born. Like many in that low-lying corner of Derbyshire, set between the rivers Trent and Erewash and crossed by the Trent & Mersey Canal which met the Trent at Shardlow, John will have made a meagre living as a labourer on local farms - "plodding industry and manual toil" as their son James' biographer described it many years later. Nine children have been identified as born to the couple between 1779 and 1801. Of these two - James (the oldest, born 1779) and Francis (born 1793) - moved to Beeston where they lived, raised their families and died. Another, William (born 1789) moved to Attenborough, just to the west of Beeston.

James Hudston was baptised in the parish church at Aston on the day following his birth in March 1779 and, in due course, was confirmed into the Church of England. However, this was a time when the Methodists, originally a movement led by the John and Charles Wesley within the Church of England, were beginning to break away. Many, particularly the working classes, were attracted to this development which had begun to gather momentum around the time of the Wesleys' deaths in 1788 and 1791. In 1795, aged about 16, James was converted and was to dedicate the rest of his life to the cause of Non-Conformity. For a while he came under the influence of the Independent, Rev James Gawthorne of Derby but by 1797 he had joined the Methodists at a time when Alexander Kilham, a leading Methodist was expelled for advocating separation from the Church of England, more rights for preachers and a more democratic structure for the church. When Kilham and three others founded the Methodist New Connexion in 1797, the first of several breakaway movements, this one along the lines he had advocated, James Hudston was amongst the first to join.

His move to Beeston appears to have occurred in 1807 and, by 1809 when he married Mary Birkhamshaw at Risley, Derbyshire, he was already described as "of Beeston". He was not alone in seeing better prospects over the border in Nottinghamshire where greater urbanisation was taking place and early industrialisation was more apparent. A shoemaker by trade, he may have seen more opportunities there - but there was almost certainly a deeper reason. Certainly by 1802, and possibly earlier, he had begun to preach and, as a result, it is almost certainly the case that Beeston had been identified as a suburban area, without an entrenched Wesleyan presence - although they had started a fledgling society and the Baptists had already established themselves by 1804 - which was in need of his work as a Lay Preacher.

Things were not easy for the New Connexion, particularly in the early days; Kilham died in 1798 and the movement soon had competition from other breakaways, notably the Primitive Methodists in 1807. There was also a major problem for the new movement as the terms of the trust deeds under which Wesleyan chapels were held did not give local congregations the right to claim ownership when the change occurred and this resulted in some serious local disputes. In Nottingham, where the Connexion was particularly strong, ownership of Hockley Chapel was heavily contested. The majority of its membership had transferred to the New Connexion and had initially taken over possession - Kilham himself had even been buried there - before losing possession to the Wesleyans following legal action. In Beeston there was no building to argue over so, when a local society had been formed in Beeston in 1799 - the first Non-Conformist group to do so - it preached initially in the streets despite opposition and persecution until it had managed to obtain the use of a barn from one of its members, John Richards. In 1805 - two years before James moved to Beeston and the same year that the Wesleyans started class meetings - and with the help from members in Nottingham, a small chapel was built on Chapel Street in Beeston. This was the situation when James Hudston arrived in 1807; his efforts there were to have a significant and long-lasting effect and he was to remain on the local preachers circuit plan for the rest of his life - although unable to be active in his final years.

Although the society had managed to establish a base in the village, growing competition from the Wesleyans - who by 1819 were backed by Henry Kirkland, a prominent lace manufacturer in the village - was having an effect on numbers. In fact, the slow take-off was characteristic of the Society's performance elsewhere; 5000 had joined in its first year but 10 years later it had only 84 chapels and just over 7200 members. Despite the best efforts of James and others to hold things together, numbers declined and those left were unable to repay the mortgage on the chapel - to the extent that the mortgage was called. In the circumstances, faced with the threat of personal liability, it was found impossible to retain or replace the Trustees and the Society had no alternative but to sell the property to the Wesleyans in 1821. This building, known as the 'Old School Room', became the nucleus for the Wesleyan School and Chapel which developed on this site and which was used by them up until their move, in 1902, to the Chilwell Road premises they use today.

While some of the members changed their allegiance to the Wesleyans, James and his Beeston followers continued to meet together at the home of a Mr Williams and then began to attend and support the New Connexion chapel at Chilwell. The Society there had also been active from shortly after the breakaway. Their habit of singing and preaching in the street had resulted in objections from Squire Charlton - but his offer of the use of land opposite the bottom of Hallams Lane on which to build a chapel was a happy compromise. Activities at this little chapel included a Sunday School, run jointly with the local Baptists, which, for many in the village, provided their only access to a basic education - reading, writing and arithmetic. Clarkes Lane Chapel New Methodist Chapel 1798 The original single-storey building was much improved in 1839 and continued in use until 1857 when Thomas Charlton, the squire and owner of the land, needed the site so that the road could be widened, and offered an alternative site on Clarkes Lane and to provide a new building (shown left) at his expense. This building, which stands today, has the date of 1857 at the front; a datestone in the apex at the rear (shown right) inscribed "New Methodist Chapel 1798" is believed to have been transferred from the original building. The building has been much modified over the years by an active membership and, after a land-swap with a builder involving land they had acquired on Meadow Lane with the intention of rebuilding there, a modern church was built in the 1970s on the adjoining land at Clarkes Lane which remains in use today.

But James and the other members never lost the wish to re-establish in Beeston. By the mid-1830s support was forthcoming from local Societies in Nottingham and Stapleford and meeting, held on 30 September 1835, under the chairmanship of Rev Andrew Lynn, then a Minister in Nottingham, resolved to build again. Building commenced on a site on Chapel Street, further to the north of the earlier building, on 21 March 1836. James Hudston laid the foundation stone and building was completed four months later. At the opening by Rev Joseph Barker, then of Chester, it was stated that "The name of Hudston is outstanding in this venture". (Quite why Barker was chosen to officiate is not clear as he had no obvious connections with Nottingham. Interestingly, he left the Connexion in 1841 after disagreements over baptism and then went to the USA where he died in Omaha in 1875). The building had cost 600 - no small amount for the band of some 50 members, most of which were working people

James and Mary spent the rest of their lives in Beeston, living on Union Street where James also worked as a shoemaker. Here, nine children had been born to them between 1810 and 1828. Five boys and two girls, each of which is tracked below, were to survive into adulthood. Eventually, after a lifetime of service to the Chapel, James died on 20 March 1866 at the age of 86. With many people wishing to pay their respects at the funeral, the Wesleyans had offered their larger premises - an offer that was graciously declined so that the service was held at the chapel building he had inspired. His wife Mary's death, followed four years later on 11 December 1870. They were both buried in Beeston Churchyard where a memorial stone survives.

The Beeston Chapel in Later Years - The 1836 chapel (shown left) continued, despite strong competition from the Wesleyans. Beeston NC Chapel Primitives for about 70 years. It was not always easy; in 1876 - when the Wesleyans" day school was at its height - numbers had dwindled to 18 but it seems that this must have turned round as there was the confidence to add new Sunday school facilities which opened on 27 August 1896. This was an era when, for many adults and children alike, social life revolved around the chapel and Sunday School and there are many fond memories of chapel outings and parades - one is leaving the Chapel Street premises, banner held high, on the picture shown on the right. Beeston NC Parade Things began to change when the New Connection joining the United Methodist Free Church in 1907, Beeston members moved to premises on Willougby Street, Beeston and the Chapel Street premises continued to serve as a Sunday School but was eventually sold in 1947 as redundant for Church use. Like many buildings of its kind which once represented such worthy ideals, its later use was somewhat sad. For a short time it housed a potato crisp factory ("Crookie Crinkled Crisps") and then was owned by Ericsson Telephones who put it to various uses ancillary to their main operation in Beeston Rylands. It was eventually sold to the Council in the late 1960s as part of its comprehensive redevelopment of the area which saw Chapel Street and its surrounds destroyed and replaced by the "The Square" Shopping Centre.

Elizabeth Hudston (1810-1886) - was their eldest child who later used the name Eliza. In 1843, she married James Avison Ballard, the son of a Toton farmer who also operated the ferry that had crossed the Trent to Barton since ancient times. His father had died in 1832 leaving James a half-share in the farm and his mother the other half until her death when his two sisters inherited her share. Perhaps James found this an unsatisfactory arrangement as, by 1841, he had moved to Beeston and was working as a lace maker and staying on the Turnpike there, at his future brother-in-law Thomas Hudston's home where two of Thomas' sisters - including Elizabeth - were also staying. After the marriage though, the couple moved back to the farm in Toton, then a fairly isolated community of about 130 folk and 1262 acres, clustered around the River Erewash to the west of the centre of the Parish of Attenborough of which it was part. Most of the land in the community was owned by Lord Vernon of Sudbury who was Lord of the Manor and this probably applied to James' 46 acres or so, situated around the boat house at the bottom of what is now Barton Lane, where the Erewash meets the River Trent, an area known locally at that time as Barton Boat. Continuing the family tradition, they also operated the ferry to Barton and, by 1861, were employing a ferryman for that purpose. James died in 1870 and Elizabeth then continued to farm there although, by 1881 it was down to 32 acres and she was needing to employ four labourers. When she died in 1886 she was living at Brierley Street, Nottingham but was buried with her husband in Attenborough Churchyard where their memorial survives. The couple had three children.
Mary Elizabeth Ballard, their eldest, married her cousin John Henry Hudston, who had established himself as a timber merchant. The couple were childless and, after his death in 1889 she became the Matron of a home for girls and young women in the Manningham district of Bradford, Yorkshire.

James Hudston Ballard, their only son, married Ann Allcock in 1878 and, by 1881, was operating on a considerable scale - he was employing 18 men and 6 boys - as a brick manufacturer in Stapenhill, Derbyshire where five of their six children were born. However, something appears to have gone badly wrong in their lives starting in 1888 when their eldest son died, when they then moved to Burton on Trent where there youngest was born and died a year later. By 1891, James was clearly in reduced circumstances, working as a charity organiser and died in 1892 at the early age of 46. It seems that his widow died shortly after this as, by 1891, each of their surviving children was being cared for and brought up in the homes of members of their extended family.

Ann Rebecca Ballard, their youngest, appears to have remained single. Born in 1848, she remained at home at Toton with her parents and helped her mother and brother to continue to run the farm for a short time until the family left in the early 1880s. She then moved into her brother's household in Stapenhill where she continued to live until his setbacks and his move to Burton on Trent. By 1891 she was boarding at 120 Portland Road, Nottingham and earning a living as an art needleworker. By 1901, she had joined her older sister at the home for girls and young women in Manningham where she probably taught her needlework skills.
Revd. John Hudston (1812-1888) - served with distinction as a Minister of the Methodist New Connexion for 56 years. Clearly influenced by his family environment (as his funeral obituary reads, ".. of pious ancestry, and the child of many prayers. His parents were Methodists of the old and pure type, and his character was thus formed amidst most favourable natural and domestic surroundings."). During this early life at Beeston where, as we have seen, his father was a Local Preacher, he would have had frequent contact with visiting preachers and local chapel life. Under the guidance of Revd. Benjamin Earnshaw, he began to preach in the Nottingham circuit at the age of 18. This early promise led to his selection in 1832, at the early age of 20, as a supply minister in Liverpool - a term which was followed by similar probationary postings to Hull, London and Shrewsbury before being received into full Connexion in 1837. It was during one of these early postings, that he returned home on a visit and preached at the chapel in Chilwell on 27 September 1835. It was the words of this sermon that were to have such an effect on a young Beeston man, James Walker whose life an career had been blighted by a drink problem. What followed from that chance encounter, the young man's subsequent conversion and life-change - before his early death - are described vividly in a pamphlet (Divine Mercy Exemplified - click to read its full text) published by John Hudston in 1840.

In May 1837. he married Elizabeth Ann Turner (b c1815 Worksop, Notts) in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire and was appointed to the Guernsey circuit where the couple spent two years - described by him as two of the happiest and sunniest years of his life.

Between 1839 and 1869 he was stationed at 14 locations, mostly - reflecting the main influence of the New Connexion - throughout the north of England. These included Stalybridge, Liverpool, Sheffield (both north and south circuits), Ashton (twice), Chester, Hanley, Manchester, Nottingham, Huddersfield. Oldbury & Tipton, Leeds and Hull. In virtually all cases he served as the superintendent of circuits. His work at the national level within the Connexion resulted in his serving as President of Conference in 1853 and a series of lesser, but nonetheless important, national posts - notably six years service as Editor and Book Steward between 1874-9.

In 1869 he was stationed once more at Liverpool where, after years of Connexional decline, things were at a low ebb. Under his supervision a new era was inaugurated; land purchased on Breckfield Road between St Domingo Vale and St Domingo Grove, near the Everton district of the City and a new church - St Domingo Chapel - and schools were erected at a cost of over 7000. It was here - except for two short postings to London, that he was to serve out his ministry, the last 9 years in semi-retirement as a supernumerary. In recognition of the contribution made by him at Liverpool, he was presented, with a silver service and a purse containing a hundred sovereigns.

In 1877, the Revd Benjamin Swift Chambers was appointed to the Liverpool circuit and identified need for organising sporting activities for the younger age group. After first setting up a cricket team, he followed up by forming a football team in 1878. It was this team that was renamed Everton Football Club in 1879 and which, after disputes split the club, also formed the basis of Liverpool Football Club. These early stages of these now important clubs has been well documented by others but it is worth recording that these early beginnings did attract the keen involvement of William Charles Cuff, born in Liverpool in 1869, and a member of this chapel. His contribution to the administration of football, both locally and nationally, were of immense importance and will be discussed later - as he was to marry a member of the wider Hudston family.

John Hudston died on 9 July 1888 with his funeral, held at St Domingo Chapel four days later. He and his wife, who had died in 1878, had four children:
Mary Ann Eliza Hudston, their eldest, was born in Guernsey in 1839. After working as a governess she married Charles Capsey, a grocer and tea merchant who, by 1861 at the age of 22, was already employing two men at his shop at 198 West Street, Sheffield. Although their marriage took place in 1862 in the West Bromwich area, this appears to reflect her father's posting to that area earlier that year from Sheffield - where the couple had probably met. During the next ten years the business grew, such that by that time they had moved to Brook House, Nether Hallam, Sheffield and were employing nine shop servants as well as Charles' brother as apprentice. Other members of the wider family - including Mary's sister Emily and a 12-year-old "orphan" - were also living in the household at that time - but it does appear that the couple were otherwise childless. Whether their business activities continued to receive John Hudston's approval is perhaps in doubt as, by that time, Charles was also dealing in wines and spirits. Whatever is the case, their progress after that date is not presently known as no trace has been found in subsequent records.

Elizabeth Sarah Hudston, was born in 1843 in Ashton under Lyme, Lancashire and married in the West Bromwich area in 1864 but nothing more is known at the time of writing.

Emily Louisa Hudston, was born in 1848 in Newcastle under Lyme, Staffordshire. She never married, staying close to the family until her father died. She then stayed in the Liverpool area for the rest of her live, operating a boarding house at 6 Amberley St, Toxteth Park for much of the time. She was resident at 3 Argyle Rd, Anfield at the time of her death in 1917, leaving a modest but respectable 33.

John Hudston, was born at Salford, Lancashire in 1850. His musical ability was apparent from an early age and it is likely that this was put to full use within chapel life. In 1887, at the age of 37, he married Frances Mary Bathgate who was the daughter of James Bathgate and Elizabeth (nee Hill), his second wife. John and Frances had undoubtedly known each other while they both lived in the Everton area. Her father was first a joiner before obtaining the position of scripture reader and clerk at St Georges Church in Everton. His first marriage had produced 7 children and, when his first wife Betsy died in 1843, not surprisingly, he soon remarried - to Elizabeth - in the following year. This marriage produced a further five children. James died in 1861 when Frances was about 8. After a short remarriage, she become a widow once more after just a few years and then went on to operate a lodging house in Whitby, Cheshire - and Frances became a teacher. By 1881, Elizabeth and several of her step-family had moved to Northop, Flintshire and where they were operating Oaken Holt Hall and School - with Frances and her sister Jessie teaching and with four resident pupils as well as their older sister's two daughters in attendance. Following their marriage, John and Frances lived out their lives in Heswall, Cheshire with John earning a living by playing and teaching music. They had no children.

It is remarkable that, although John and Elizabeth had four children, at least three of whom married, there are no known grandchildren - although there is still the possibility that children may be identified if and when Elizabeth Sarah's marriage is discovered.
William Hudston (1816-1919) - moved as a young man to Ockbrook, Derbyshire, married and lived out his life there. His life will therefore be described on the Ockbrook page.

Thomas Hudston (1818-1877) - was a tinsmith in Beeston but also, apparently, something of an enterprising man as, before the end of his relatively short life, he also traded as an ironmonger and grocer and even became the local postmaster. He established his business on the Turnpike - which later became the High Road - fairly early in his career as he is already found there as a single man, aged about 23. The exact location is difficult to pin-point but it appears that it was near the bottom of Villa Street, probably slightly to the west on a site now occupied by a distinctive arcade of shops. There is every sign that Thomas stayed close to the family network; two of his sisters - and James Avison Ballard, his future brother-in-law - were living in his household in 1841 and in 1856 he married Hannah Mills from Ashton under Lyne - where his brother John had just spent three years stationed as the Minister for the New Connection Methodists. As is the tradition in trades such as tinsmithing, Thomas would have trained a succession of apprentices. In 1851, his apprentice - who was, as was very often the custom, resident in the household - was Amos Bowley, a young man of about 18, probably well into his indentured period which was usually for seven years. As we will see, Amos was to marry into the family and continue with the family business after his father-in-law's tragic death in 1877 at the age of 57. While crossing the railway lines at the station, he became confused by trains coming in opposite directions, did not move, and was hit by the express train for London and was killed.1

Hannah, his widow, lived on for a further 25 years, staying first with her youngest son, Samuel Herbert Hudston - first in Crich before he married and then in West Ham, Essex - but returned to Beeston to live out her final years in the the home of Amos & Mary Eleanor Bowley (her daughter). She died in 1902 and was buried with her husband in Beeston Churchyard in 1902 - where their memorial survives, now positioned close to the path to the Vicarage.

There were four children of the marriage: Amos Bowley
Mary Eleanor Hudston, the oldest, was born at Beeston in 1846. She would have known her husband, Amos Bowley, by 1860 at the latest as it was about that time, as we have seen, that he became her father's apprentice. Ten years later, in 1871, Amos and the rest of his widowed mother's family were living adjacent to Thomas Hudston's family - including Mary Eleanor, working as a dressmaker. Although it is clear that Amos had continued to work for Thomas since his apprenticeship was completed and that Amos and Mary Eleanor had lived side by side for over ten years, it wasn't until 1872, by then in their later 20s, that they married - followed very quickly by the birth of their son, Walter Ernest Bowley. Two daughters followed - Emily (known as "Totty") Bowley in 1874 and Eleanor Bowley in 1878. As already mentioned, the Amos went on to run the ironmonger and tin smith business after his father-in-law's death in 1877 and, by 1891 he was operating from a shop at 7 Church Street (near the top of Chapel Street - shown left with Amos in doorway2). By 1901. Mary Eleanor herself was not well - her mind had deteriorated - a factor which was the probable reason for her mother's return to Beeston, despite her own advanced age. Both mother and daughter died shortly after - Mary Eleanor in 1903, her mother only a year earlier in 1902. Amos lived on at the shop, assisted by his daughters - who, after his death in 1912, went on to be the third generation to run the original Hudston business, continuing well into the 20th century - latterly, as "Bowley & Hall", after they were joined by Thomas Stone Hall, Eleanor's husband.

John William Hudston, their eldest son and second child was born in Beeston in 1853. By the age of 18 he was working as a cashier for a firm of timber merchants and by the age of 28 he was himself a timber merchant and was living at Queens Walk in Nottingham with his wife, Mary Elizabeth (née Stevenson) whom he had married in 1878. The couple left for America with their three children - Thomas Stevenson Hudston (1880), Irena Hudston (1883) and Ranulph Hudston (1885)3 - in 1885 and settled in Denver, Colorado where John William had a successful career as a bank clerk. He became an American citizen in 1900.

Amy Elizabeth Hudston, sometimes known as Annie Elizabeth, was born in Beeston in 1854. As we have seen, by 1871, her father had became Beeston's postmaster. In 1870, the Post Office had taken over the inland telegraph services from the railways and private telegraph companies and quickly developed throughout the country as a important component of its services, processing millions of telegrams every year. It was not an uncommon practice for postmasters to allocate local jobs to family members and it seems that is what happened here - with Amy attaining just about the right age at the right time - so that, by 1871 she was working as Beeston's first Post Office telegraphist. At least at first, this would have involved sending and receiving the messages by Morse code and arranging for received messages to be delivered by hand as quickly as possible. Later, the Wheatstone ABC telegraph was introduced which enabled messages to be received and sent without the training and skills required for Morse messages - but it is likely that the process of introducing this relatively more sophisticated apparatus would be slower in the villages, rather than the more urban areas. By 1881 - probably following her father's death in 1877 - Amy had moved to Glanford Brigg in Lincolnshire, and continued working there as a telegraphist until she married a local man, Joseph Frankish in 1884. Joseph was a clerk and travelling salesman for a cattle feed company, originally from Grasby, Lincolnshire and together they settled in Wrawly, Lincolnshire and had one daughter, Dorothy Frankish, born in 1889. Their life together was, however, relatively short and ended with Amy's death in 1897 at the age of 43.

Samuel Herbert Hudston, the youngest of their four children, was born in Beeston in 1857. As a young man he worked as a commercial traveller but, after his marriage to Eliza Elizabeth Aldred in 1883, he appears to have worked on his own account as a wire rope and cable manufacturer in the east end of London, living in West Ham, Essex - with his widowed mother living with them for many years. The reason for his move to this area and how the opprtunities arose is not apparent but what is clear is that his father-in-law was a wire worker in the area for all of his working life. Whatever the circumstances, this was certainly a good time to be in this business, with good demand from the fast developing electrical industries, tramways and the like. The couple had two children - Lillian Hudston, born in 1886 and Thomas Herbert Hudston, born in 1888. Thomas, who seems to have followed his father into business - in 1922 he is described as a Sales Manager - married Alice Josephine Cornell in 1912 in Nottinghamshire where the family appear to have returned to, and where they had two children, at least one of which emigrated to Canada where his descendants now live. Eliza, Samuel's wife, died in 1914 in Eastwood, Notts, possibly at he son's home - his wife had been born in the town and they had married in that area just two years earlier - and, in 1920, there followed an unfortunate involvement by Samuel with a widow, Lucy Ethel Newbiggen. After some persuasion - and a settlement of 20,000 - the lady had reluctantly agreed to the marriage - which took place in Nottingham in November 1920 - but two years later he brought a suit for annulment following her refusal to consumate the marriage. After a trial that went on over a week, despite the essentially undisputed evidence, annulment was refused based on case law - a sad episode for all those involved.4
Sarah Hudston (b. 1821) - married Joseph Dakin, a marble worker from Matlock, Derbyshire. The couple set up home in Matlock where they raised a family of a least three daughters.

Henry Hudston (1823 - 1916) - was born in Beeston in 1823 and prospered in the manner of the classic Victorian entrepreneur. He first became apprenticed to learn the printing trade in Nottingham5 and then set up himself as a printer from premises on Beck Lane, progressing rapidly so that, by 1851, aged only 28, he was already employing seven men. In that preceding decade had married Mary Kelly6, in 1845 when he was just 21 and, following his father's and brother's evangelical zeal, between 1848 and 1850, he had published a succession of religeous tracts, including "The Gospel Banner, and Biblical Treasury", a monthly magazine which claimed to include the writings of the Alexander Campbell who had formed the Churches of Christ in America - though Campbell vigourously denounced the authenticity of the contents.7.

Henry Hudston advert

By 1854, he had moved his printing shop to Maypole Yard, Nottingham8 and had also made two parallel moves which indicated a change of direction, both in his career and his social status.The above entry in Wrights's Directory for Nottingham for that year gives (almost) the whole story - by then, besides his printing business, he had become the local manager for Unity Fire Insurance and Trafalgar Life Assurance, with an office on Wheeler Gate and he had moved his family back to Beeston where he had been born and raised. Now though, he moved back to live in some style. Like many Nottingham-based businessmen, he moved to Beeston for a more amiable family live, escaping the over-crowded City whilst retaining the convenience of an easy commute on the railway. The villa-type homes from the mid to late Victorian era that can still be seen today - albeit often much altered and put to other uses - are the residences they built. Arriving, apparently, slightly ahead the stylish Station Villas, he occupied Gothic House, one of the three original, spaciously sited homes on Barton Street.

It seems that the new direction that Henry had taken in his business life was particularly successful and he soon began also to operate as a stock broker. No doubt he would have speculated with his own money as well and it appears that, for the time being at least, his efforts in that direction too were succesful.In fact, during this period of just over twenty years, his life appears to have been particularly ideal. Henry and Mary had raised three childen to adulthood 9 and while, at least for the moment, the youngest son, James, worked for his father and stayed at home, the two older ones married during that period and, in the case of their daughter, brought grand-children to the happy family life.
John Henry Hudston, their eldest son, had been born in Nottingham in 1845. After starting his business career in an insurance office - presumably with his father - he started up in business as a timber merchant and, in 1871, he married his cousin, Mary Elizabeth Ballard (see above). The business was a partnership with William Stevenson, trading as "Stevenson and Hudston" and seems to have started well, with premises at Station-street, Nottingham, and at Queen's Dock, Kingston-upon-Hull. During this time, John Henry and his wife were able to settle in fashionable Queens Walk, Nottingham but, by January 1879, the business was in bankrupcy10. However, in 1881, he still described himself as a timber merchant and was still living on Queens Drive with his widowed mother-in-law and other members of his and his wife's extended family and with the assistance of a domestic servant. He died in 1889, aged only 43, having no children. As we have seen above, his widow then took up a position as the Matron of a home for girls and young women in Bradford, Yorkshire.

Ann Rebecca Hudston had been born in 1847, apparently in Basford 11. As Henry and Mary's only daughter, it seems that she remained particularly close to them, in particular during the period following Mary's death and, in turn, as we shall see, this support was reciprocated during Ann's apparent long separations and difficulties in her marriage. Ann married George Henry Ford, the second son of a Minister of the Methodist New Connexion, the late William Ford, at the General Baptist chapel on Nether Street on 20 March 1866 12 and, at first, set up home in Surrey where their first child - a daughter, Jessie Ford - was born in 1867. Another daughter, Mary Ford, was born in Allahabad in 1869, while Ann was travelling with her husband, while he was working as a manager on a railway project there. By 1870, she had returned and set up home on Broadgate, Beeston, which was convenient for visits to her parent's home, said to be shown in the following photograph. It appears to show Henry with Jessie, his grandaughter, his wife Mary and, quite possibly, their youngest son James.

Ford House Ford Poem

Ford's employment as a senior railway manager did, however, continued to take him away from away from home - sometimes abroad - for extended periods which, with seven children born between 1867 and 1880, would have presented difficulties for his wife, despite the domestic asistance that always available and the support of her parents. The poem printed on the reverse side of the photograph (above right), shows clearly how close was the relationship and how much that meant to the children - particularly Jessie, it seems, who was aged almost twelve when she wrote of her happy times with her grandparents in Beeston. Sadly, by 1880, when the last of their children was born, it seams that the relationship between Ann Rebecca and her husband had broken down and they appear to have lived apart for the remainder of their lives. by 1881, George Henry had left the railway and was working as an accountant's clerk while living in rooms in London and then retired to lodgings in Eastbourne where he died in 1920. Ann had moved away from Beeston just prior to her last child's birth at Horsforth, Yorkshire and later, in a series of moves, probably to be near her children's families, to Liverpool, then to Woodford, Essex and finally to Hertfordshire, where she died in 1927.

George and Ann's edest son, Henry Duncan Ford (1872-1920), worked as an accountant, married Helena Taylor in 1910 and set up home in Woodford Green, Essex. It appears that the couple had two children before Henry's death at the early age of 47. His younger brother, James Harold Ford (1880-1958) Three of the five Ford family daughters remained unmarried, Mary Ethel Ford (1869-1943) worked as a domestic servant while Alice Gertude Ford (1874-1943) and Hilda Marion Ford (1876-1939), worked as insurance clerks while living with the family in Essex before retiring together to Dorset. Annie Mabel Ford (1870-1940) married Felix Tayor, a Unitarian Minister in 1892 and had two children. All straightforward, no doubt worthy lives but we can look to their eldest daughter Jessie's life - and particularly that of her husband - as the one with the most long-term resonance.

Jessie married William Charles Cuff in 1894 at the St Domingo Chapel, Liverpool which had been built in about 1870, mainly as result of initiatives by her great-uncle, the Revd John Hudston. As mentioned above, Cuff, born locally in 1868, had been a member of the chapel from boyhood and had taken part enthusiastically in the sporting iniatives - particularly football - introduced there by the Revd Benjamin Swift Chambers after his arrival in 1877. The resulting adult St Domingo's team was particularly successful and the young Cuff was enthusiastic in his support while continuing as a full member of the chapel community - serving as choirmaster and, like his father before him, as a Trustee. This was an environment that gave him the moral standards and sense of duty that guided his actions throughout his life. After completing his education at the well-regarded public school, Liverpool College, he became articled in the legal profession in 1888 and admitted to practice law in 1893. He was to follow that profession for the rest of his life - notably, in partnership with Thomas Blackburn Roberts in the firm of Cuff Roberts & Co in Liverpool. But, it is for his continuing contribution for the development of football, both in Liverpool and nationally, that he is most remembered - in fact, it was his passion. Remarkably, the St Domingo football club became the basis of Everton Football Club and Cuff was part of the transition, becoming a member in 1890 and a shareholder and, following a dispute between the then Chairman and the club committee over the way the club was to be run, he supporting the club's move from Anfield to Goodison Park in 189214. In 1901 he became Secretary to the Everton Club a position he held until 1919, during which period the club had considerable success on the field, winning the F.A. Cup in 1906 and the Championship in 1914/15. In 1909 he supported the team's tour of Argentina and Uruguay and, in 1911, he took the lead in the formation of the Central League, managing Everton Reserves which won virtually all their matches. Work pressures meant that he needed to take a break from football for three years but was persuaded to return as Chairman just three years later. It was the start of a period at the top level of football, where he would remain until his death nearly thirty years later.

During 27 years as Everton's Chairman he helped guide it to be amongst the leading clubs in the land, winning the F A Cup in 1933.

Cuff at Wembley


From 1938 up to his death in February 1949, Cuff was President of the Football League. This image, taken at the League South Cup Final, between Chelsea and Millwall, at Wembley Stadium on 7 April 1945, he is shown seated between Her Majesty the Queen and His Majesty King George VI (in the uniform of Admiral of the Fleet). Between His Majesty and the Pricess Elizabeth (in ATS uniform) is Mr G F Allison, Manager of Arsenal Football Club. On the left is King Haakon of Norway, who was to return to his country two months later, after five years in exile in Britain.

Even at the age of 80, Cuff continued to work tirelessly, both for football and his profession. Perhaps inevitably, this could not go on for ever and, after a week that had taken him to London on football business and to his office, he became ill and returned to the Holywell Hotel at Parkgate on the Wirral Peninsula where he then lived. He died there after a few days of illness, on 6th February 1949.

James Robinson Hudston, Henry and Mary's youngest son, was born at Beeston in 1853. His varied career began as an insurance clerk, probably with his father but, following he later moved to the London area where he was involved briefly in chemical manufacturing before reverting to insurance and share broking and finally, before his relatively early death in 1912, as a dressmaker's manager. Henry Hudston He had married Anne Jane Cowl13 in 1899 but there were no children of the marriage 13.
In 1876, Henry's wife Mary died and was buried in the churchyard in Beeston where her memorial survives. In 1879, Henry (shown right in his later years) married Jenny Jones Garrett, a much younger woman, and moved for a while, in retirement, to Kent and London before returning to Nottingham to live out their lives, Henry dying there in 1916 followed by Jenny in 1931. The couple had two children :
Henrietta Jennie Hudston who was born in Broadstairs, Kent in March 1880, remained unmarried, living out her life in Nottingham where she died in 1977.

Winifred Mary Hudston who was born in Sidcup, Kent in March 1880, also remained unmarried and worked for a time as a health visitor with Nottingham Corporation. She died in the Nottingham area in 1976.
Samuel Hudston (1828 - 1916) -  after working as a compositor as a young man, he started in business at 15/17 Church Street, Beeston where he lived and served the town as a printer, stationer and newsagent throughout the rest of his life. He was a faithful worshipper and trustee at the New Connexion chapel on Chapel Street and continued regular attendance after it moved to Willoughby Street in 1907. In 1854, he married Elizabeth Nutt, the daughter of Robert Cornelius & Hannah (née Hethesay), part of a family of butchers which extended across Lenton and Beeston. and the half-cousin of Elizabeth Nutt Harwood the author of a diary recording everyday life in Beeston Rylands from 1837-1840 (Click here for details). Samuel and Elizabeth had twelve children, ten of whom survived infancy:
Annie Louisa Hudston, their eldest child, born in 1855, worked as a domestic servant in the household of her aunt and uncle, Joseph & Sarah (née Hudston) Daykin, in Matlock, Derbyshire. While there, she met Arthur Johnson Smith, born in 1850, the youngest son of William, a Birmingham carriage lamp maker and Mary A Smith (née Johnson). The Smith family had had a comfortable life in Birmingham, but William's early death, when Arthur was young, had forced Mary to return to Islington in London and to support her family as a laundress. Arthur must have left home to learn the jewellary trade and was clearly successful, such that, by 1876 he and was in a position to marry Annie. After their marriage, in Matlock, the couple made their home - with ample domestic assistance - in Birmingham where Arthur, by now assisted by his brother John, was, within the next five years, firmly established as a manufacturing jeweller with fifty employees. By 1891, the family had moved to 39 Handsworth Wood Road in the Handsworth district of Birmingham, where they remained for the remainder of their lives. Arthur - with his brother John and eventually Arthur, his eldest son - ran a highly successful business based at Variety Works, on Frederick Street in the city's famous jewellery quarter. Its jewellery - typically attractive brooches and other small items - are still sought after today.

The couple had four children. Their eldest, Edith Mary Smith (1875-1916) married Arthur Henry French (1872-1928), a saddler, in 1903 and had two children. Their second daughter, Elizabeth Annie Smith (b. 1880), married Charles J. Glenny in 1914 and they had one daughter. Their eldest son, Arthur Hudston Smith (1884-1966), worked with his father in the business. He married Mabel Emmeline Bendall in 1916 and had one daughter. Their youngest son, Stanley Johnson Smith, was born in 1894 and died in 1906, aged only 12. Arthur died in April 1931, aged 80, leaving 28,000 - then a substantial amount which equates to over 1.5 million today. Annie died in January 1940, aged 85.

Emily Sarah Hudston, their second child was born in 1857 and worked as a domestic servant for over twenty years of her early adult life. By 1871 she held the position of nursemaid in the household of Revd Owen Davies who was then the Wesleyan minister in Beeston, living in Station Villas. Ten years later she is found working in the household of the the hosiery manufacturer, James Gibson. at his home on the Ropewalk, Nottingham. After a further ten years she had found a position as housemaid at Nant y Ffrith Hall in Hope, Flintshire, serving the family of Robert Lyrke, an iron and coal mining engineer. It was while she was working there that she met a local house painter and decorator, John Thomas Harrison (b. c1866), whom she married in 1892. Their son, Arthur Harrison, was born in the following year and, it appears that they adopted Linda Harrison, born in about 1903. By 1901 they were also keeping a local inn, possibly the Kings Head in Bwlch Gwyn, Denbighshire. John Harrison died in 1920. Emily then married William Smallwood, a coalminer, in 1928. At some point after William's death in 1935, probably in the last years of her life, Emily returned to the Beeston area and died there in 1945.

Amelia Elizabeth Hudston, their third child, born in 1859, married Charles Paxton in 1887. Charles, born in 1861, the son of an Edinburgh joiner, had started his career as a bookseller in his native town before taking a position with a Nottingham newspaper where he is said to have reached a fairly senior position before his early death in 1902, aged only 40. The couple made their home at 73 Queens Road, Beeston and had three children - Harold Hudston Paxton, born in 1890, died just a few months old. Elsie Mary Elizabeth Paxton(1892-1988), worked as a teacher before her marriage to fellow teacher Frederick William Coe (1892-1969) in 1920 (See them both here). Charles Hudston Paxton(1894-1976), married Elsie Parker in 1924, with whom he had four children, and then, after Elsie's death in 1949, married Dorothy Elizabeth Roome in 1962.

James Samuel Hudston, their eldest son, was born in 1860. He learned the bakery trade in Beeston and continued in that trade after moving to Colne, Lancashire. In October 1891, he married Margaret Jane Butler (née Lang), the widow of Alfred Charles Butler and daughter of William and Ann Lang of Accrington, Lancashire. They had two sons, both casualties of the Great War - James Samuel Hudston (1893-1921) was badly injured while serving in France with the Northumberland Fusiliers and his brother William Lang Hudston (1894-1918) was killed on the Somme serving with the East Lancashire Regiment. As a widow, Margaret Jane returned to her trade as a cotton weaver and lived to the age of 84 at her death in 1936.

Arthur Nutt Hudston, their second son, fifth child, was born in Beeston in 1862. After his apprenticeship with the master butcher, Richard Wheatley in Greyfriar Gate, Nottingham, he moved to Liverpool where he married Sarah Parry. By 1891, he was in business as a butcher in Warrington, Lancashire and was employing others, by he later moved back to Liverpool where, still as a butcher, he was employed by others. He died, aged only 50, in 1912. His widow died in 1947. The couple's only child, Violet Elizabeth Mainwaring Hudston, was born in 1889, married Leonard G Foster in 1919 and died in 1961.

Mary Hannah Hudston, their sixth child, was born in Beeston in 1864. By 1881, she had left home and nothing more is known of her.

Horace Hudston, their third surviving son, seventh surviving child, was born in Beeston on 14th February 1868. After leaving school he was apprenticed in the grocery trade in London before returning to Beeston to start up as a grocer himself. By then, he had met Agnes Mary Holmes, who had left her home having left home in Hugglescote, Leicestershire, in about 1883 at the age of 15, to take up a position of housemaid in the household of with Mr & Mrs Walter Carrington Fowler at Rose Cottage in the West End, Beeston15. They married in April 1890 and set up home at 77 (now 101) Wollaton Road, Beeston, where Horace traded from the shop on the corner of Clinton Street. He continued trading there for about ten year, although things did not go well financially In about Bread tin 1900, the family moved to 42 Chilwell Road where they operated both a grocery shop and a bakery. Although he managed to develop some sizable bread accounts, it seems his money problems continued and, in 1904, his creditors had to accept 1s 5½d in the in settlement. Somehow, however, he was able to continue, particularly with his bakery business. This involved an early start each day to bake the bread and a long day delivering it to shop customers in his horse and cart, travelling over a wide area. The bread tin, pictured right, is from this era. When war came in 1914, there were difficulties with the the supply of materials but overall - at least in retrospect - the trading conditions that prevailed should have been adventageous. However, he was of the opinion that the conditions would be ruinous and, when he lost one of his best customers, the Chilwell Shell Filling Factory, when it was badly damaged by the explosion in July 1918, he decided to close the business. It must have been a very sudden decision - his son Leonard, then serving in the Army, knew nothing about it and went to Chilwell Road when home on leave and had to be directed to the family's new address on Vernon Avenue, Beeston. It is believed that most of the bread tins were sold to Erissons for use for small part storage. For much of the remainder of his working life, Horace was employed by Barton Transport in a variety of roles - sometimes in a clerical role, sometimes as a conductor - but, over time, he was able to get a degree of financial stability into his life and the family were able to move to 17 Clinton Street where, closeby, he owned a fairly large piece of land where he had once stabled his horse but now served as his vegetable garden.

The couple had five children. Their first child, Percy Randolph Hudston, was born in 1890 but died within weeks. Their eldest daughter, Dorothy Isobel Hudston was born in 1892 and died in 1978. She married George Henry Peel (see more) in 1919 and the couple's only son, Harold, was born in 1920 and died in 1940. Their only surviving son, Leonard Hudston, was born in May 1898 and died in 1963, worked for the Post Office after leaving school before service in the Army throughout the Great War. He married Edith Dora Digweed (1896-1980) in 1920 and the couple had three children. After leaving the Army he went to work at Barton Transport and was one of its longest srving employees. As a driver he was one of the first to take Continental tours in the 1930s and was an inspector later in his career. Their second daughter, Edith Elizabeth Hudston, was born in October 1901 and died in September 1987. As a school-leaver she worked as a swiss embroidery mender in Anglo-Scotian Mills before marrying Albert Henry Hallam (1898-1965) in 1925 and had two sons. Albert had served in France with the Royal Field Artillery during the Great War, worked at Beeston Boiler Company between the wars and took a position in the Civil Service at Chilwell Ordnance Depot for the last 20 years of his career. Their youngest daughter, Kathleen May Hudston was born in May 1910 and died in June 2005. She married George Disney Keeble (1914-1998) who worked for much of his career as an engineer for Morris Cranes and served in the Royal Navy as a Petty Officer, on Russian convoys in World War 2, afterwards taking a leading role in the scout movement locally. The couple had one daughter. Horace's wife, Agnes Mary, died in September 1938 and Horace died in December 1945.

Walter Albert Hudston, their fourth surviving son, eighth surviving child, was born in Beeston on 1872. After starting work as an assistant in his father's stationer's shop, he married Alice Holmes (1875-1907) - the sister of Agnes, Horace's wife - in 1899 and started as a diaryman, on his own account. The couple set up home on Clinton Street, Beeston and had three children who survived beyond infancy. Albert Hudston, born in April 1900, served in both world wars and was killed in Italy in April 1944. He had married Christine Elizabeth Archer in 1939. Annie Hudston was born in May 1905 and died in November 1994. In July 1928 she married Richard Thomas Sharp and had two children. Their next child, Harold Holmes Hudston was born in July 1907 but, tragically, there were problems when Alice died from complications which followed the birth. For a time, the couple's older children, Albert and Annie, were taken in by Horace and Agnes Hudston while the two-week-old Harold was taken to Coalville, Leicestershire where he was brought up by his mother's sister, Ellen (née Holmes) Cross and her husband Charles. Harold went on to establish a business as a baker and was to officially adopt the name 'Cross'. He was to marry Hilda Allcock in 1941 and the couple had two sons. Following Walter's subsequent marriage to Harriet Emily Leeson (1883-1972) in 1909, Walter was able to reestablish his family home and to go on to have four more daughters, Doris Evelyn Hudston, Loie Christina Hudston, Mary Elizabeth Nutt Hudston and Dorothy Phoebe Hudston. Walter's business was operated from Mona Cottage, 48 Nether Street, Beeston, property apparently owned by his uncle, Richard Cornelius Nutt. By 1911, he had moved, with his family, to that address, with his uncle, then a widower, living with them up to his death in August 1911 and Walter continuing to live there up to his death in 1952.

Harry Edwin Hudston, their fifth surviving son, ninth surviving child, was born in Beeston on 1874. He also started his working life assisting his father in his stationery and newsagent business at 15/17 Church Street. This role continued after his marriage to Florence Evans (1874-1947) in August 1900 and probably pertained until his father's death. By 1920, they were living at 65 City Road where they raised their family and lived out their lives. The couple's daughter, Elsie Winifred Emma Hudston was born in January 1911, married Archibald Frederick Benstead in 1958 and died in 1971. Harry and Forence's son, Henry Evans Hudston was born in November 1912 and died in July 1987. He married Millicent Slater in 1940 and had one son.

Edith Hudston, their tenth surviving child, was born in July 1876 when her father was aged about 52 so she only knew him as a relatively older man. Her mother died when she was four and, eventually, she took charge of the household until her marriage, in 1911, at the comparitively older age of 35. Her husband was John Whitworth Bowlzer (1880-1944) who had already proved himself to be a skilled precision engineer. After having started his career as a mechanical engineer in the cycle industry he joined Ericssons and received training of a high standard in London. This training was still underway when, in 1906, his father died at an early age. Despite having a family of eleven to support, his mother insisted that he complete his training. The couple set up home at 39 Enfield Street, Beeston and had two daughters - Marjorie Elizabeth Bowlzer was born in October 1912 and married John Sutton (1914-1994) in 1946. John was the son of the well known local butcher, Owen Sutton, and had followed a career as a schoolmaster rather than following his father into the family business (see more here). He taught at several local schools and became the headteacher of Bispham Road School in Toton from 1963. He was a lifelong active member of Beeston Boys Brigade and, along with his wife, of Chilwell Road Methodist Church. He was also a long serving local Councillor on Beeston & Stapleford Urban District Council and its sucessor, Broxtowe Borough Council, serving several times as Chairman and Mayor respectively. Marjorie died in January 2006. Her sister, Doreen Bowlzer was born in 1917 and died unmarried in March 2004. After the death of her husband in 1944, Edith devoted much of her time to supporting the work of the National Childrens' Home. She died in 1963.


1A brief account of this accident appeared in the 21 May 1877 edition of the Liverpool Mercury.
2The original of this photograph, which is in the author's collection, was produced. somewhat ironically given the subject, by the Tintype photographic process and is printed in reverse (but corrected here). This process, which was popular with itinerant photographers, originated in 1852 and continued in use into the 20th century. The process was cheap and almost immediate.
3The UK birthplace of Irena and Ranulph is based on the family's entry in the US Federal Census in 1900 which also gives the immigration date of 1885. However, no UK birth registration has been located for either child.
4An extensive report of the trial appeared in The Times between 23rd and 29th November 1922. As part of the evidence, it was stated that Samuel had departed for South Africa in December 1920, presumably on business. This probably suggests that he was involved in substantial export business in that county,
5In the 1841 census (Piece 871 ED 11 Folio 4) he is shown as an apprentice printer, living with (probably boarding with) the family of Henry and Fanny Meekley on Mortimer Street, Nottingham. Assuming his apprenticeship was with a nearby printer, it is possible (no more than that) that his master was Henry Carr who operated as a printer in nearby Castle Terrace.
6Mary Kelly was born at Ravensworth Castle on 19 June 1817 (Date on her memorial inscription) and was baptised at Lamesley, Durham om 12 February 1818 (Durham Records Online), the daughter of William and Mary Kelly. Henry and Mary were married in Nottingham in Q1/1845 (GRO Ref 15 822).
7See "Old & New Nottingham" (William Howie Wylie), transcribed at http://www.archive.org/stream/oldandnewnottin00wyligoog/oldandnewnottin00wyligoog_djvu.txt. Other worthy publications printed by him in this era included Alexander Campbell's "Family Culture; or Conversations in the Domestic Circle at the Carlton House" which was brought out under the patronage of the Mayor of Nottingham in 1850 (see http://www.mun.ca/rels/restmov/texts/tcampbell/etc/FETN2.HTM), as well as other publications said to include the writings of Alexander Campbell and others, the authenticity of which were contested (see : www.angelfire.com/bc2/Bereans/Cornerstones/Pioneers/Herald/018.html and www.olivercowdery.com/smithhome/1840s/1849Thomas.htm#title )
8"Early Nottingham Printers" (WJ Clarke, 1953) - Page 61-64 includes an entry for Henry Hudston as a printer at Maypole Yard, Nottingham.
9As well as their three children who lived in adulthood, the couple had a fourth child, Thomas Gardner Hudston, born in 1849 and died in early 1854, aged 4, apparently about the time of the family's move to Beeston.
10London Gazette, Jan 21 1879 (Proposed dividend to creditors). London Gazette, March 2 1880 (Proposed second dividend of 1s/.
11Her birthplace was declared as "Basford" (i.e. the place as well as the then Registration District) consistently throughout her life. No other evidence of a family connection with that place has been found.
12The ceremony was conducted by the bride's uncle, Rev John Hudston, assisted by the Rev W Underwood, president of the Baptist College, Chilwell. Sadly, her grandfather, James Hudston, died on the same day.
13Ann Jane Cowl, a daughter of Thomas & Angelica Wharry (née Holder) Cowl, was born in Hull in c1848. Their marriage took place at St Marks, Islington, London on 20 September 1899. James died on 21 March 1912 leaving 121 1s 11d. Anne remained a widow and died on 9 Seprember 1938 in Hertfordshire, leaving 165 14s.
14There are conflicting accounts of the reasons for the move from Anfield to Goodison Parr, as well as an account of the subequent development of Goodison, are set out comprehensively at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goodison_Park. The abandonment of Anfield, of course, led to the formation of Liverpool Football Club which became based on that site.
15Family legend has it that, on her first day in her position, Mrs Fowler sent her to the Post Office. Rose Cottage overlooked The Cross and Mrs Fowler showed her the way by pointing up Church Street (which then opened into Post Office Square at its top end). Agnes misunderstood and set off along Middle Street. When she reached Brown Lane (Station Road) she realised she had gone the wrong way. She asked a young man for directions - it was Horace Hudston, who was to be her future husband.


More notes and images will be added shortly


Click to read about Hudstons in Ockbrook, Derbyshire


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